Hibernian secured the double after beating Glasgow City 6-5 on penalties after a thrilling SSE Scottish Cup Final ended in 1-1 after 120 minutes. On the balance of the 120 minutes, Hibernian deserved to win however the longer the game went on, the more dangerous Glasgow City looked.
It was the Edinburgh side that controlled the first half, with a more direct style of play and will have been frustrated only to have gone 1-0 up at half-time thanks to Lisa Robertson’s header.
City improved in the second half and equalised through a wonder-strike from Hayley Lauder and both sides looked for the winner in normal time. Hibs thought they had scored with the very last kick of the game, but Rachel McLauchlan couldn’t just quite force the ball over the line.
Both sides had their chances in extra-time but after neither side could score the winner, the game went to penalties. Hibernian’s Robertson missed the very first spot-kick, and it looked like that could be critical until City’s fourth spot-kick was magnificently saved by Jenna Fife. The shootout went into sudden death, with neither side looking like they would miss until City’s Sam Kerr was the unlucky player to shoot over the crossbar – sending the Hibs’ fans into jubilation.
Hibernian set up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Emma Brownlie playing a deep holding role which symbolised their attitude in the first half: make things hard for City and catch them on the break. But despite having more possession, it was City who had the game’s first real chance when Fiona Brown’s cross nearly picked out Hayley Lauder, six yards from goal, but Jenna Fife bravely claimed the ball ahead of the City player. Despite the lack of chances in the opening twenty minutes, that period was characterised by high intensity and frantic play.
When Hibs took the lead in the 23rd minute, it was the game’s first shot. Claire Williamson, about 35 yards from the goal-line played a high looping ball into the box, picking out the unmarked Lisa Robertson whose header seemed to wrong foot City’s keeper Gemma Fay.
The game seemed to settle down but it was still Hibernian who were having the game’s chances with Abigail Harrison curling her shot wide.
But Glasgow City had a glorious opportunity to equalise when Leanne Ross’ free-kick picked out Savannah McCarthy at the near post, but the Irish defender shot wide.
Late on in the first half, Hibs’ and Robertson nearly scored their second but Rachel McLauchlan’s cross was slightly behind the midfielder, meaning she had to lean back and couldn’t get the required direction on her header.
At half-time, Glasgow City made a tactical change with Sarah Crilly replacing Hayley Rosen – allowing Hayley Lauder a chance to play a more central role, a change that would pay dividends later on.
City started the second half with more intention in their play and came close from a corner which fell to Crilly, but her shot was well saved by Fife.
But Hibernian could have once again scored their second but neither Harrison or Lizzie Arnot could get on the end of McLauchlan’s teasing cross. The Edinburgh side came close once again with Lucy Graham heading agonisingly wide.
However, in the 68th minute, Glasgow City equalised. A slip from Kirsty Smith allowed Lauder the space to set herself up on the edge of the box, before curling the ball into the top corner with a stunning strike, despite Fife getting two hands to it.
City could have taken the lead minutes later when Lauren McMurchie’s stunning ball picked out an unmarked Clare Shine, but off-balance, she could only stab the ball wide.
The game was becoming more open, and when Arnot’s cross picked out Graham at the far post, Hibs were only stopped from retaking the lead by brave defending by Fiona Brown.
And with the last action of normal time, Hibernian thought they had scored the winner. Arnot’s cross was blocked by City’s Cheryll McCulloch at the far post, and McLauchlan thought she had forced the ball over the line, but the officials correctly decided the ball didn’t cross the line. There wasn’t even enough time to take the resulting corner.
Early in extra-time, Lauder came close when Brown’s cross picked her out in the box, but she seemed to get under the ball as she headed over.
However, Hibs had several chances to score in the 111th minute. First of all, Rachel Small played Sarah Ewens into the box, but Fay made a decent save to tip the ball behind. The resulting corner caused a scramble and when Fay was stranded, Ewens saw her shot blocked and eventually, City cleared the ball behind for another corner. From which, Arnot’s delivery found Siobhan Hunter at the far post but her firm header was well held by City’s keeper.
In the second period of extra-time, City pushed for the winner. Shine squared the ball to Crilly, but her shot just crept wide of the right-hand post. Then Brown had her first shot from 20 yards blocked, and then she reacted to get the rebound but could only shoot straight at Fife.
Crilly probably had their best chance in extra-time when she was picked out in acres of space in the Hibs box, but she failed to take her time and blasted her first-time shot wide.
And with penalties approaching, City had a goalmouth scramble but neither Crilly or Shine could force the ball over the line.
The shootout got off to the worst possible start when Lisa Robertson blasted their first spot-kick over the crossbar. Glasgow City then took the lead in the shootout when Fiona Brown scored her kick, sending Fife the wrong way.
The shootout continued with clinical finishes from both sides until Glasgow City’s fourth kick. Hayley Lauder placed the ball on the spot but was ordered twice by referee Lorraine Clark to replace the ball on the spot. When she took her kick, she placed it high and to the right, but Fife flung herself to the correct direction to make a superb save.
Both sides scored their next kicks to send the shootout into sudden death. The first round of sudden death saw both sides score, but after Hibs’ captain Joelle Murray scored hers – Glasgow City’s Sam Kerr placed her kick over the crossbar to send the Hibs team into delirium.